Last week, Beth Moore of Living Proof Ministries declared that it was “hunting season for heretics” in her blog, where she likened a discerning 22 year old wife of a pastor to a witch hunter, and questioned this young lady’s ability to differentiate truth from error. This young lady sent out a tweet basically calling Beth Moore the false teacher that she is. After she found out she was the target of Moore’s rebuke, she reached out, and Moore responded via email. After a few rounds of back and forth of Moore attempting to rationalize her “revelations” and “visions” to a young woman she thought she could convince, Moore realized the young lady was more grounded in Scripture than she thought, and as she was challenged to answer questions and defend her position, Moore abruptly ended the exchange without answer. This just goes to prove that Moore, and people like her, are only comfortable engaging people who are undiscerning, and unwilling to stand on the truth of Scripture as their final authority, just like most of her followers.
Let’s take for example some of the comments posted by Beth’s followers on her “hunting season” article. Now, I can’t examine the hearts or minds of any of these people based on any internet posting, nor can I judge their salvation, however, I can say for sure that if they actually believe some of the things they are posting, they could be in serious trouble with their beliefs. The following comment by “Rhonda” on January 11 states:
No one knows which way the Spirit’s wind blows. It’s all going to be washed out in the end and once we walk over the finish line into the doorway of heaven all of our eyes will be opened to see how off all of us were in various degrees. Only God knows our hearts. That’s the thing that’s the most important. Whatever people think or judge or condemn is between them and God. If they feel they need to call us false teachers and false followers out, then I’m not going to spend my time arguing with those whose ears the Lord himself allows closed or whose mouths and fingers he allows to criticize. David had the same problems with his critics and he just let God be the judge. (Come to think of it, I think Jesus did too.)
I’m not even sure I know what the first sentence means. But let’s assume it’s a reference to John 3:8, that wind blows where it pleases, as does everyone born of the spirit. This is not saying that we can just go around saying and teaching whatever we please, and not be accountable for it. This is a reference to the Holy Spirit bringing life to those who are born again. Yes, our eyes will be opened to “how off” we are one day, but unfortunately, there will be many who don’t cross that “finish line” into heaven. Those who have not heard the truth can easily be led astray, and God does not save people through a false gospel (Romans 10:14). Beth Moore is not teaching her followers essential doctrines such as Grace Alone through Faith Alone, and the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. She is giving Roman Catholics a false sense of security by referring to them as “sisters in Christ,” rather than calling them to repentance from their idolatry, and false gospel of works. Rhonda, do you really think that Jesus just left his critics alone, and let God be the judge? First of all, Jesus IS God, and Jesus does judge his critics. But to say that Jesus didn’t spend any time “arguing” with his critics is blatantly false. Jesus’ entire ministry consisted of correcting false beliefs, false teachings and rebuking false teachers. Jesus regularly confronted his critics openly, publicly, and directly, and even resorted to anger and name calling at times, comparing his critics to the offspring of serpents, (Matthew 23:33), a fox (Luke 13:32), wolves (Matthew 7:15, 10:16, etc.), and dogs (Matthew 15:26). This is how Jesus chose to confront error, because it was effective to those who had an ear to hear his words, however, those who do not, will not hear him, because they are not his sheep.
Another commenter, Laverna, says:
It grieves me as I’m sure it grieves the Lord’s heart to see how those that call themselves Christians speak of each other. That would never be his heart. It saddens me to see it happen again here.
Laverna is insinuating that it is our Lord’s heart for us to just be quiet, and accept false teachings in the Church, but Jesus makes it very clear that we are to expose the false teachings of others, not accept them. Jesus himself says to beware of these people (Matthew 7:15) and Paul says in Romans 16:17-18, “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” Many of Beth’s followers are very naive. Beth Dunn, another commenter, believes that Moore’s differences are only “denominational differences.” Either she is completely oblivious to what Beth Moore teaches regularly, or she isn’t grounded enough in Scripture to see the damage that Moore’s teachings can cause. Moore regularly teaches that God reveals extrabiblical things to her, and they often contradict Scripture, creating a doubt in the sufficiency of Scripture among those who aren’t discerning. Though Beth Moore may not be directly teaching a false soteriology, she does create doubt in the Biblical doctrine by claiming God has given her a vision he wants true believers and Roman Catholics to be united under her vision. Point blank, either she is deceived by a demon, or she is out right lying, because, and let me be clear, God DID NOT give her that vision.
Another comment, by Beverly says:
…This isn’t about a 22 year old, a 60 year old, or a 90 year old man or woman….it is about a far more powerful prince of this world who will do whatever he can to sidetrack, stumble, humiliate or destroy you and the ministry He has entrusted you with…
Sadly, Beverly doesn’t see the importance of doctrinal and Biblical accuracy, the way Jesus and the apostles taught. She, as well, likens discerning Christians who are concerned that people may be led astray with false teachings to those who are followers of the devil. But the Apostle Paul repeatedly says that those who are teaching anything contrary to Scripture are accursed, and should be exposed (Galatians 1:6-9, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, 2 Cor 11:13-15).
There are many more, but I can’t possibly cover them all, but I’ll lastly respond to this one, from Janet:
I would imagine that Jesus is crying over the way Christians are fighting, blaming, and name-calling, instead of loving each other. His prayer was that we are known by the way we love each other, and that we have the same unity the He and the Father have. Wow! We seem to be going backwards.
Because, I’m sure Jesus is just sitting up there weeping, saying to himself, “Oh, how I regret telling my sheep to expose false teachers. Oh, how I wish they would just not worry about the truth, and just love one another.” I have not heard anyone thus far unlovingly rebuke Beth Moore. While I’m sure there are plenty out there whose motives are less than Godly, the majority of her critics are sincere Christians who have repeatedly asked Moore to clarify her teachings, and back them up with Scripture, which she repeatedly refuses to do. Jesus taught us to publicly rebuke those who are openly in sin, and unrepentantly teaching error. Moore is not open to correction, as she has shown on several occasions. Janet, you are mistaken in your understanding of the unity Christ wants us to have. Jesus and his father’s unity is not, under any circumstances, based on any difference in their theologies. Not only are Jesus and the Father’s unity based on love, but it’s also based on truth. Absolute truth. God is the standard of truth, and if we, as Christians want to come closer to having that same unity, first thing we must do is get rid of the error.
For years we have attempted to build Beth Moore up, and confront her error, and have refrained from calling her a false teacher, but year after year she has refused to address the issues confronted her, and support them with biblically sound theology. She can’t, and she refuses to repent, and sadly this makes her a false teacher, regardless of how subtle or extensive it is. The fact that her followers have flocked to her blog in droves to comment and support her means nothing except that her followers are not well versed in Scripture, and are likely to believe whatever she says God revealed to her, be it audibly or through a dream, or whatever “unathoritative” manner God has chosen to “speak” to her that day. Regrettably, Beth Moore did not correct any of her supporters who obviously did not understand Scripture, nor did she address any of the few critics that raised issue with her in her comments. She just repeatedly indulged herself in the sorrowful praise and exaltation of her by her followers, in contrast to Scripture (1 John 5:21) and regardless of their misunderstandings of the teachings of Christ and his apostles. The misunderstanding seems to be that the arguing and the exposing of error is what causes divisions, but that’s not true. It’s the lies and the false teachings and the unrepentant sin that causes the disunity (Romans 16:17), and until that sin is confronted, and corrected, there will always be division. I would have that this is the reason we contend for the faith.
To Beth Moore’s followers, if you read this, I leave you with this passage:
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. – (1 John 4:1-6)